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Initial water tests from Duke Energy's L.V. Sutton Plant in Wilmington confirm that discharges from the cooling lake to the Cape Fear River are not contaminating the water downstream. Flooding of the river, caused by Hurricane Florence had stirred up concerns over a potential coal ash contamination.

Before the turn of 2018/19, Germany will decide where to locate its first LNG import terminal. The German economy and energy minister Altmaier announced this move as “a gesture to our American friends” that could help ease tensions over the Nord Stream-2 pipeline project, led by Russia’s Gazprom.

The Norwegian gas pipeline operator Gassco has reported a new peak for summer deliveries of natural gas to Europe, and will soon be opening its new Polarled pipeline to carry even more volumes from the Norwegian Continental Shelf. Gassco exported 36.8 billion cubic metres (scm) in May-August – a small rise from the same period in 2017 which was a record year for gas exports.  

UK shale gas explorer Cuadrilla has received government approval to start fracking at a second site in Lancashire, Northwest England. “We are currently completing works on the site in readiness to start hydraulically fracturing both wells in the next few weeks," said CEO Francis Egan.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) has developed an interactive dashboard showing daily and weekly updates on Lower 48 and regional storage activity, as well as market fundamentals that affect underground gas storage activity. Updates are published online and in the Weekly Natural Gas Storage Report (WNGSR).

As the US-China trade war escalates, Beijing is implementing a retaliatory 10% tariff on US LNG imports starting from September 24. In the twelve months up until June 2018 China used to be No.2 buyer of US LNG, accounting for about 3 mtpa mostly bought through Shell. Now, state-owned Chinese buyers started to snuff gas supplies from America, and PetroChina just entered a 22-year purchase agreement with Qatargas.

Global energy consumption is set to soar 28% between 2015 and 2040, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration's latest International Energy Outlook 2017 (IEO2017). Countries with strong demand growth in non-OECD Asia – notably China and India – are seen to account for over two-thirds of the total rise in energy consumption through to 2040.

Most Japanese utilities that also operate nuclear power plants – such as Tokyo Electric, Kansai Electric and Kyushu Electric – have effectively stopped funding for the costly reprocessing of the nuclear fuel, their financial report shows. This move seems to indicate a long-term shift away from nuclear towards fossil fuels, notably natural gas.

As wholesale gas prices hit 10-year highs, Britain’s power producers are earning more by dispatching cheaper coal-fired power stations than their gas counterparts. If this trend continues, the UK may not be able to meet is emissions targets given that the extra coal-burn for power generation already increased emissions by 15% in September, analysts at the Imperial College London warn.

Growth in Europe’s gas demand has returned and stays underpinned by the power sector, with higher coal and carbon prices continuing to support the competitiveness of gas-fired power generation, says Murray Douglas, research director, Europe gas at Wood Mackenzie. Most importantly, in his view, is that national coal phase-out policies are being enacted throughout Europe which will boost gas demand through to the mid-2020s.

Michael R. Bloomberg and Miguel Arias Cañete, the European Commissioner for Energy and Climate Action have agreed to jointly step up Europe’s clean energy ambitions. In the context of the EC’s Platform ‘Coal Regions in Transition’, Bloomberg Philanthropies will develop plant-by-plant research analysis of coal power installations to allow for more targeted actions.

Several thousand delegates are attending Gastech 2018 in Barcelona. The four days event has been declared open by King Felipe VI of Spain. The lineup of speakers includes CEOs and Chairmen of Spain’s leading energy companies Cepa, Enagas and Repsol as well as executives of global LNG projects such as Freeport, Mozambique and Middle East ventures.

Super typhoon Mangkhut has battered the Philippine island Luzon late Friday, leaving a 40 people dead and a quarter of a million affected with seven province reportedly flooded and without electricity supply. Now, the storm moved on to hit Hong Kong and mainland China, with more than five million people estimated to be at risk.

Imminent landfall of Hurricane Florence has left nearly 300,000 Americans without electricity as the outer bands of the hurricane hit the coast of North Carolina with wind speeds of up to 90mph (150 km/h). Though the storm is now comparatively slow-moving, it brings with it a lot of destructive rainfall and is forecast to make landfall just before 9 am local time today.

Construction of a third train at Gazprom’s Sakhalin II project has long been in the making, and Gazprom this week held talks with all project stakeholders except Shell at the 4th Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok. Mitsui and Mitsubishi, both partners in the venture, buy Russian LNG for the Japanese power market and for trading purposes.

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